Banding Together Under Icy Conditions

This week, I found myself making coffee in the hallway. Why? Well, Mother Nature brought us our 10th snow storm of the year, disrupting most plans and all electricity. I live in Oak Summit, Arcadia-owned apartments a mere five-minute walk from campus. I must say, even with the weather interruptions, I am so impressed by the Arcadia community and Residence Life’s effective communication.

On Wednesday, I awoke at five in the morning to an ice storm and the news that classes were canceled. I promptly fell back to sleep. At around eight, I tried to turn on a light. It didn’t turn on. I checked Facebook to find reports of power outages. My Resident Assistant emailed to let my hall know that Oak Summit was without power. The right people were aware, and everyone was working on it. I went back to sleep. I tried to read a book. My hands got too cold outside of the blanket. I brought my blanket out to the living room to chitchat with the roommates. I called my parents. I hung up. I was bored.

By noon, we discovered the hallway outlets worked! Eureka! At first, each outlet was populated by laptops and phones charging. Slowly but steadily, residents brought out coffee makers and microwaves. More people populated the halls, bringing bedspreads and bean bag chairs with them. These hallway-dwellers talked and laughed a little too loudly, but that’s understandable—we were all stressed. We shared resources. We bonded. All the while, we received updates via email from the Residence Life staff about when power was expected to return and how to proceed.

At this point, I went home. Being from Doylestown, I could escape to my house, which at that point didn’t have electricity either. My roommates took shelter at a friend’s apartment. Even so, we continued to get updates. Arcadia Residence Life and Public Safety worked with PECO to ensure student safety. They hooked up generators and gave comprehensive instructions. The outage lasted about two-and-a-half days, and the entire time they kept us in the loop. I’m so grateful for this team who braved the dangerous roads to ensure basic needs were met.